Have you noticed that there has recently been the resurgence in 3 generations of a family holidaying together? Gone is the year of the staycation ….. last year was the year of the multi-generational holiday and I am all in. Apparently so are the grandparents and the kids! 3G holidays are perfect for busy and geographically separated families to get a chance to re-connect with each other. Awww …. feel the love. There is also the added bonus of an extra pair of hands helping with the kids. #babysitter!
Some grandparents are using multi-generational holidays as an opportunity to help out their cash strapped kids by paying for some of the holiday ….. as long as they can come too! Where these 3G holidays can be wonderfully enriching and positive, for some families they are not without their challenges. I am sure there are a few of you who would find going away with your parents, let alone kids, anything but relaxing.
That being said, 3G holidays needn’t be hell. As a child I loved our multi-generational vacations with my grandparents. #makingmemories. These trips can be the source of some wonderful family memories. You just need to choose the right place. Luckily for you, your ever helpful Fifi Friendly road tested two brilliant eco-luxe and multi-generational family friendly options.
Villa holidays give you the kind of independence you don’t always get in a hotel. You can cook if you want to or take your hire car out and about to visit local restaurants. You can work around your own schedule, a baby’s schedule or most noteworthy work around the requirements of 3 generations. Choosing a villa is perfect for families who want to be in the same place, share communal areas and have self catering as an option.
What about a villa that is part of a luxury resort though? When we stayed at Martinhal Quinta Resort in the Algarve, it was perfect for our 3G family holiday. Our stunning 4 bedroom villa came with its own pool, several living areas, garden, kitchen and laundry for those that are that way inclined. Martinhal Quinta also had a couple of breakfast options for those guests who do not want to go fully self catered. You could have a Breakfast Basket delivered to your villa or you could enjoy a large buffet breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Main Pool. This got a big thumbs up from me as it meant I was out of the usual routine of getting up and feeding everyone.
Most families will have differing views on what they like to eat first thing in the morning. Some prefer a home-made omelette, others eat their body weight in pain au chocolate or local cheese and the morning cava is an extra special add-on.
The superior standard of accommodation at Martinhal cannot be faulted and their villas will appeal to those who enjoy a more independent holiday. Martinhal Quinta gave us the independence of a villa holiday along with the excellent facilities of a luxury hotel complex. There was a daily maid service, 24/7 reception, brilliant kids club, pool cafe, games room, massage therapy and shuttle service to the beach to name a few.
The resort is located in the Quinta do Lago area, which has a variety of fantastic bars or restaurants, local golf courses and the nearby Ria Formosa National Park. Pretty perfect to keep everyone happy.
Hotels are not always the first choice for this type of holiday, but can work really well. Everyone has their own quarters and sometimes not even in the same wing. You can all come together for meals …. if you want…. or hang out at the pool together …. if you want. No-one gets landed with all the cooking and cleaning. Also, some hotels offer room discounts if one grandchild goes in with the parents and another with the grandparents.
When we stayed at the sublime VILA VITA Parc it worked out perfectly. The kids and I enjoyed a 2 bedroom Oasis Family Suite and my brother’s family were in the suite next door. For parents who have children that go to bed early, the adults have lots of space to relax without having to creep around quietly in the same room. For those of you who want some more space there are also 5 luxury villas with ocean views and butler service!My lucky parents had a beautiful room in the separate main building. It gave us all our own space and there was no feeling of being on top of each other.
This member of The Leading Hotels of the World has something for the whole family. Firstly VILA VITA Parc had a brilliant kids club included in the price of our stay. There were 8 different swimming pools to choose from as well as 9 hole pitch and putt, 18 hole putting green, driving range, beach walk, tennis, mini golf, volleyball, football, Pilates, yoga, aqua gymnastics, health club and gym. Finally, when you want to relax then a trip to the VILA VITA Vital Spa is a must.
The food was epic. We struggled to choose between the hotel’s 10 restaurants and 6 bars. With a two Michelin Star fine dining restaurant, a beach restaurant, an authentic Portuguese restaurant, German beer garden, cafe and vaulted wine cellar, there was something for all tastes. The grounds of this hotel are stunning. VILA VITA Parc is set in 54 acres of gardens so you can have plenty of space from the rest of the family if you want it. Yet, most of us were happy to lounge around the pool while the kids burned off some energy. Furthermore, we also enjoyed using the resort’s golf buggies as a mode of transport!
What’s the verdict?
Multi-generational holidays can be fabulous, fun and surprisingly easier than I thought. Choosing somewhere that has food choices, space and activities to keep the whole group happy makes life a lot simpler. I love to see that an increasing amount of locations are clocking the importance of this sector. I have highlighted two organisations that are doing it really well and would love to hear your recommendations too.